MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first day of spring semester at the University of Minnesota is marked by changes in how students and staff are kept safe on-campus.
A string of armed robberies has many students worried and the university taking some new safety measures to keep everyone on and around campus safe.
This new multi-pronged approach focuses on four areas for improving campus security — Education, environment, enforcement and engagement. Some of the new initiatives include offering self-defense classes and safety workshops, some even for credit.
They’ll be extending hours for the buses on and around campus and adding a new weekend circulator as well. They’ll also be changing light fixtures, making them brighter at night for certain areas of campus. Students had the chance to find out about all of the changes at the annual Coffee and Donuts with Cops event at Coffman Union.
“I’m concerned that this crime has changed people’s behavior, and made it more difficult to be a student and to do the type of things that students do – study late at the library or go out with friends,” said Matt Forstie, a University of Minnesota senior.
“We are really working hard to ensure that safety of everyone on our campus with our initiatives, including some of the lighting initiatives. We’re looking at adding more enforcement of our police,” said Donita Brown, dean of students at the U of M.
Senator Amy Klobuchar will speak Monday at Coffman Union. She will highlight legislation to require a kill switch on smartphones. Many recent robberies have involved criminals grabbing people’s phone right out of their hands.